The Sierra-Cascade Logging Conference and Equipment Expo got underway Thursday morning at the fairgrounds in Anderson. It’s the 70th year for the event, which features the latest in logging equipment for which deals worth Millions of Dollars will take place. Some of the machines dwarf their predecessors but are designed to make less of an impact in the woods while increasing efficiency. That means far fewer humans are needed than in the past and those who are still employed in the woods often need to be tech savvy to operate or repair the highly sophisticated equipment. That’s why the theme this year focuses on appealing to young people. Almost every event is free, including admission. There are many informational events during the conference, as well as an array of skills competitions, including the log loading skills and the popular excavator rodeo. The Logging Sports Exhibition is also a popular attraction, with chopping, whip-sawing, ax-throwing, and choker setting. It’s the third year for the “World’s Strongest Logger” competition, which is a strong man contest with lifting of very heavy stones and logs. At its heart, though, the conference is still about the business of logging. The industry is still reeling in much of Western U.S. from the devastation of the Bark Beetle, which made many areas more susceptible to fires as trees died off, according to timber faller and timber sports champion Walt Page. Page says that after the fires of recent years, the industry is under a lot of pressure to manage forests in a way that reduces understory, and they’ll likely be concentrating on harvesting smaller diameter trees. A complete schedule of events is available at sclcexpo.com.